Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C. – Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT) has received a $6,000 Opportunity Fund grant from Islands Trust Conservancy to help them meet an overwhelming demand from islanders wishing to take action to care for nature on Gabriola Island.
The Opportunity Fund grant will support GaLTT’s booming Nature Stewards Program. Since launching the program in 2021 GaLTT has received a hugely positive response from Gabriola residents. Almost 100 acres have been conserved by dozens of private landholders through voluntary pledges to keep the trees and protect habitat on at least 30 percent of their properties. “Home of a Wildlife Friendly Garden” signs and signs about habitat conservation are popping up around the island. With the ongoing support of the Islands Trust Conservancy and partners, GaLTT hopes to secure 350 acres of habitat pledges by the end of 2023.
“Supporting voluntary actions and programs like Nature Stewards on the islands is critical to the success of conservation in the Salish Sea,” says Kate-Louise Stamford, Chair of the Islands Trust Conservancy Board. “We are happy to be able to support the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust and hope this support contributes to their continued success on Gabriola.”
Currently only 12% of land in the Gabriola Island Local Trust Area is protected, despite its high biodiversity values. More than 65% of land on islands in the Salish Sea are privately held – meaning that individual landholders’ voluntary conservation actions are critical to protecting biodiversity and addressing impacts from climate change in the region.
“Many landholders are already champions of nature conservation on their land, from larger acreages to less than half-acre parcels,” says Ken Gurr of GaLTT. “We want to acknowledge everyone for their efforts, and ask all islanders to conserve as much of their properties in a nature friendly state as possible. We all know this decade is pivotal for so many global issues, and our local efforts will feed into the huge international movement to protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030.”
Residents and property holders on Gabriola who are interested in learning more about this program are encouraged to visit www.galtt-naturestewards.com or fill out the contact form for a site visit at www.galtt-naturestewards.com/join-us.html
About the Islands Trust Conservancy Opportunity Fund Grant
The purpose of Islands Trust Conservancy’s Opportunity Fund is to support timely opportunities to protect biodiversity in the Islands Trust Area. The Opportunity Fund provides support for ‘hard to fundraise’ costs associated with land protection. It can also be used to leverage increased donations to land acquisition projects.
Since 2005 more than 200 donors have contributed $200,000+ to the Opportunity Fund, enabling Islands Trust Conservancy to distribute 28 grants that have helped protect more than 530 hectares of land across the islands in the Salish Sea.
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- Currently only 12% of land in the Gabriola Island Local Trust Area is protected, despite its high biodiversity values.
- Islands Trust Conservancy protects natural landscapes across the Islands Trust region. The support of individuals and partners has helped to protect more than 1,365 ha of land within 32 nature reserves and 79 conservation covenants on islands in the Salish Sea.
- More than 65% of land on islands in the Salish Sea are privately owned – meaning that individual landholders’ voluntary conservation actions are critical to protecting biodiversity and addressing impacts from climate change in the region.
- British Columbia is the most biologically diverse province in Canada– but it also has the largest number of species under threat of extinction.
- Nearly 300 species are listed as being at risk of extinction in the Islands Trust Area, representing 25% of rare species found in BC. Protecting habitat is one of the best ways to prevent species from becoming extinct and aids in the recovery of those species currently at risk.
About Islands Trust Conservancy
Islands Trust Conservancy is the conservation land trust for over 450 islands of the Salish Sea and is a part of Islands Trust. Since 1990, Islands Trust Conservancy has protected more than 110 properties, covering more than 1,365 hectares of island ecosystems. This success is thanks to the vision, support, and generosity of donors and partners. Learn more about our work.
For all media enquiries please contact Carmen Smith, Communications Specialist – Islands Trust Conservancy